Cardinals Sign Jake Westbrook

Looks like that Brad Penny/ Karina Smirnoff wedding isn’t happening at Orlando’s like all us St. Louisians would have hoped, huh?

The Cardinals have signed Jake Westbrook to a 2 year deal worth 16.5 million with a mutual option year for another 8.5 million. The pact was formally announced by the Cardinals yesterday. Westbrook was 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 starts for the Cardinals in 2010 after coming over in a 3-way trade that send Ryan Ludwick to San Diego.

ESPN reports: “Westbrook was 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA the final month of last season. He won 14 or more games three consecutive seasons from 2004-06, topping 200 innings each time, but missed all but five starts in 2008 and ’09 after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery.

Soooooo…

Westbrook was pretty solid from what we saw over 2 months. He got through a season healthy after missing the previous 2 with elbow problems. And the Cardinals got him at a fairly reasonable market price, setting the 5 man rotation in stone for the 2011 birds:

1-     Wainwright

2-     Garcia

3-     Carpenter

4-     Westbrook

5-     Lohse

I’ve banged on Lohse for the better part of 2 years now, but since the Cardinals are still on the hook for 22 million dollars, he’s about as toxic as a mortgage backed security wrapped in anthrax. He’s going to pitch for the Cardinals in 2011 or at least get run out on the mound for the better part of 3 months before going down to another mysterious injury.

That being said… If the Cards can get ANYTHING out of Lohse, I’m liking the rest of the rotation. 1 through 4, I don’t think there is a guy that you don’t think that can, at the worst, keep you in a game and at the best, completely shut the opposition down.

Considering this signing came on the heels of Hiroki Kuroda getting 12/m from the Dodgers for 1 year and prior to the Brinks truck getting backed up at Cliff Lee’s Arkansas manse and every other team scrambling for another starter- the Cardinals got a very fair deal on a guy who could be a potential #2 for 75% of the teams in the MLB.

However – and this is completely unfair to Cardinals management- until the 800lb elephant in the room gets taken care of, it’s hard to get fired up or bummed out about any of the auxiliary signings that the Cardinals make. Because, quite frankly, I don’t care that Jake Westbrook is under contract for 2012 unless Albert is as well.

One step at a time.

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